France boosts Calais security after mass brawl

A migrant receives medical assistance by rescue workers following clashes near the ferry port in Calais northern France on February 1

At least five migrants have been shot in the French port city of Calais, after a mass brawl between Afghans and Eritreans.

The four victims who were shot are said to be in a life-threatening condition and have been taken to hospital.

Police are searching for a 37-year-old Afghan suspected of being involved in the shootings.

"We have reached an escalation of violence that has become unbearable for both those from Calais and migrants", he said. He warned that there was likely to be further bloodshed.

Violent clashes between migrants are common in Calais where thousands from Africa and the Middle East lived in "the Jungle" camp in poor conditions before it was dismantled by authorities in 2016.

"The message I want to get across is that if you want to go to Britain, it's not here you should come", he said, adding that minors applying for asylum in Britain would be automatically moved to shelters around the country.

However, humanitarian organizations say Europe's convoluted asylum process makes it almost impossible for people to get the help they need.

Two police officers were also slightly injured.

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"In no case will we allow another Jungle here", he said.

A second melee erupted shortly afterwards at an industrial site around 5km (three miles) away, when between 150 and 200 Eritreans armed with iron rods and sticks clashed with about 20 Afghans, the local prefecture said.

According to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, reporting from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that makeshift migrant camps would no longer be tolerated and that migrants must report to official centers.

Two clashes broke out in the northern port city.

Charities on the ground have said the incidents left unaccompanied minors as young as 13 with "nowhere to go" because the scrubland they had been sleeping on became too unsafe following the conflict.

Mr Collomb urged migrants not to head to Calais if they wanted to try to get to the United Kingdom, saying their attempts from there - often trying to hide themselves in lorries - would be unsuccessful.

Beyond pouring millions into more police and extra security measures in Calais, Mr Macron said he wanted to reduce the amount of time migrants spent in France. In Calais, he has expressed support for the police, whose treatment of migrants was criticized by a Human Rights Watch report that denounced their systematic use of pepper spray against migrants.

In July, 16 people were injured in a brawl, one seriously.

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